Secret To Winning

with Ali Bacha

Most players have a “weapon” or at least a favorite shot they go to when they need a point.  A secret to winning is to NOT let them have that shot.

Don’t give them the shot they want to hit.

For example, I was playing a Friendship Cup singles match a couple of years back (New England vs. Quebec) and lost the first set badly.  My opponent, who was the #1 70s player in the province (#3 in the country), Ali Bacha, had a killer drop shot; and he must have used is 20-30 times in that set (so many times that he apologized as we changed over to start the second set!).

“What did you do about it?”

So I moved in and played three feet INSIDE the baseline; and could more easily get to any drop shot he hit.  I ended up taking both the second and third sets.

Here are some situations:

  • Cross-court returner – Playing doubles against someone with a great cross-court return of serve, try playing Australian and forcing them to change their stroke and go down the line.
  • Lobber – Facing someone in doubles who lobs all the time, stand back nearer the service line and take that shot away.
  • Lefty spin server – Getting beaten by a lefty spin serve down the middle in the deuce court or out wide in the ad court, move over to force them to change their serving pattern down the middle.
  • Big booming server (especially on hard courts) – Roy Emerson always coaches us to not only have the returner stand back further, but also have his partner start at the baseline too.

What other shots can you take away?

Hurricane Irma???

DeDe and I are still in rainy New Hampshire; but concerned about our Florida friends, who are now in the path of powerful storm Irma.

Are you there?  Are you staying or leaving?

Know someone who should read this?  Send them a link and if you are not on my “new posting alert email list” and want to be (I promise, no other uses of your email address!), just drop me a note at GeorgeWachtel@gmail.com

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3 thoughts on “Secret To Winning

  1. I agree with all the suggestions you have made. They are very practical solutions to situations we all face.
    Since I rarely lob, my opponents don’t have to worry about the second situation.
    Judy and I are still in Naples and we are going to try to ride out Irma. The projected path of the storm has shifted slightly to the east so we may not get hit as hard. Time will tell.

    Michael, where is the smiley face after the words, “Since i rarely lob”?? Stay well. george

  2. Wait, Emmo counsels to stay back on a big booming serve?? So why do you and the other Wankers always step IN on my serve? Oh, maybe I just answered my own question.

    Marty, 🙂

  3. In doubles, take away the cross-court return, by serving down the center (T) even on the ad court. Assuming you have a decent serve and the returner won’t kill every forehand 🙂 …..for all of you in FL …God Bless and get OUT………..”riding it out”? seriously?

    Mark, thanks and good advice. George

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